Essay about A Report On Betye Saar

Essay about A Report On Betye Saar

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Betye Saar was born January 30, 1926. As a young girl Saar spent her summers with her paternal grandmother in Watts, California. This is where she got her first glimpse of real art. In the 1930’s Watts was a very racially mixed community. Saar watched an Italian immigrant named Simon Rodia piece together what would become the glittering spirals of the Watts Towers. In and article with NPR Saar remembered the experience with this "And he wanted to make something monumental. And he put these steel structures up and covered them in cement and pressed shards of ceramics, of plates, I 've seen corncobs in there, I 've seen tools. It 's like, the cement is wet, what can we put in here? I think that was the beginning of me becoming an assemblagist or recycler." After her father’s passing in 1931, she moved with her family to live her maternal great-aunt and her husband in Pasadena, California. Saar went to Pasadena City College and then the University of California, Los Angeles in 1947. In 1949, she received her degree in design from there. Saar went to graduate school and completed studies at California State University, Long Beach, University of Southern California, and California State University, Northridge.

She began to collect these images in the 1960’s, that were influenced by the race riots, the assassination of Dr. King, and the social tension that was arising at the time. Saar was a part of the black arts movement in the 1970s, challenging the myths and stereotypes. At 46, Saar created the piece that launched a series of art aimed at reclaiming the derogatory images of Blacks. One of the pieces to be discussed is “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima” exhibited in 1972. Other pieces she has created included "Wot 's Dat" (1998) and ...


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...t caricature positive rather than negative power. She has liberated herself from both a history of white oppression and traditional gender roles. Saar said “My intent was to transform a negative, demeaning figure into a positive, empowered woman… a warrior ready to combat servitude and racism”.
In the background to prominent lines are straight framing the Aunt Jemima ads that are put in a grid. This is a three-dimensional piece so all of the objects form a shape. The broom and the riffle create diagonal lines that point to the figures face. She is the focal point of the entire piece. The colors are very bright in this piece. There are many bright reds, oranges, yellows, and greens. In contrasts to the bright colors the fist in black symbolizing black power. All of the items overlap each other. This draws the viewers eye in and takes them all throughout the piece.


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